Federal Budget

Ominibus bill rewards Department of Education overreach

Featured image On Friday, the House will vote on the year-end omnibus spending bill, formally known as the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016. As Heritage Action says, the bill should have been an opportunity for conservatives to reassert their prerogatives on a host of important issues, ranging from appropriate spending levels to substantive action on refugee resettlement, executive amnesty, Planned Parenthood, and many more. Instead, the omnibus spending bill falls far short »

Ryan wins GOP Speaker nomination, the sell-out commences

Featured image The Republican House conference held its Speaker election this afternoon and resoundingly selected Paul Ryan for the job. According to this report, Ryan received 200 votes to 43 for Daniel Webster. Marsha Blackman and Kevin McCarthy each received one vote. In other news, the Speaker-to-be has endorsed the awful budget deal that John Boehner secretly negotiated (along with Mitch McConnell) with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. The deal passed the »

GOP: Say No To Another Bad Spending Deal

Featured image There are so many things wrong with the spending deal that John Boehner announced last night. Let us itemize a few of them. First, the Left is openly crowing about the fact that the deal is a huge victory for their side. The New York Times headlines: “Obama Wins on Budget Deal as John Boehner Cleans Out the Barn.” How much more do you need to know? The sequester was »

A budget deal Republicans should reject

Featured image In recent days, as John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, and Harry Reid negotiated a budget deal behind closed doors, the prospect for mischief has been acute. Today this latest “gang” presented its handiwork to members of Congress. It is, indeed, mischievous. According to this report, the deal would increase federal spending by $80 billion over two years. The spending increase would be shared evenly between domestic and military spending, »

Follow Up on Jeb and Congress

Featured image I’m on airplanes all day today, making my way to Michigan where, it turns out, I’ll be meeting John in a bar late tonight. (This is how conspiracy rumors get started. Stand by for some clandestine video.) Meanwhile, I note a great letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal this morning from Laura Hirschman making the same point I did here last week (“Bush League De-Regulation?“) about Jeb »

Why Not Let Obama Shut Down the Government?

Featured image President Obama has announced that if the Republican Congress does not include $500 million for Planned Parenthood in the upcoming continuing spending resolution, he will veto the legislation and shut down the government. (Of course, for better or worse, only a small part of the federal government will actually be laid off and cease operations.) To which I say: is that a threat or a promise? Republican Congressional leaders are »

From Madisonian Constitutionalism to Wilsonian Statism?

Featured image That is how Dan Mitchell describes America’s fiscal evolution, as chronicled in a new report by the Joint Economic Committee. I will have to delve into the report before long, but for now let’s stay with Mitchell’s analysis: Given my affinity for budget data, I was excited to learn that the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) just released “An Economic History of Federal Spending and Debt.” This new publication is filled »

Observations on President Obama’s Budget

Featured image President Obama has released his FY 2016 budget, an act that fulfills a legal requirement but otherwise has only political significance. It is notable how much attention is being given in the press to a document that has no possibility of resulting in legislation. Still, the budget is revealing in some ways. In the big picture, it confirms–if confirmation were needed–that Democrats have no vision for the future other than »

In Washington, Sessions Holds the Bridge Against Liberal Onslaught

Featured image One of ancient Rome’s great heroes was Horatius, who saved the city by holding a bridge, along with two friends, against an invading Etruscan army. In the end Horatius stood alone against the attackers, as Roman soldiers behind him destroyed the bridge to prevent the Etruscans from crossing. Senator Jeff Sessions reminds me of Horatius. For years, he has stood athwart the ambitious liberalism of those who want to fundamentally »

Per Capita Federal Spending Shows 40-Year Trends

Featured image Veronique de Rugy has performed a real service by compiling the data shown in the chart below, in a manner that I haven’t seen it before. The chart depicts per capita federal spending from 1962 to the present, broken down into three categories: discretionary, mandatory and net interest, and stated in constant 2014 dollars. First the chart, then some comments about it. Click to enlarge: Shown on a per capita »

Did Ted Cruz just pave the way for confirming a wave of Obama nominees?

Featured image The Senate has approved the so-called Cromnibus bill. It did so in a rare Saturday session. According to the Washington Post, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee forced the Saturday session: Prolonged debate on the spending bill, which passed on a 56-to-40 bipartisan vote, came after Cruz and Lee late Friday night derailed a carefully crafted plan between party leaders to allow senators to go home for the weekend and return »

The Wall Street Rider: What’s It All About?

Featured image As we noted here, Nancy Pelosi, Elizabeth Warren and most of the left wing of the Democratic Party turned against the continuing resolution/omnibus spending bill that squeaked through the House, ostensibly on the ground that it contained a “giveaway” to Wall Street. This was one of Pelosi’s several demagogic tweets: [email protected] is stacking the deck for Big Banks & his lobbyist friends. RT if you oppose the #BoehnerBankBailout! pic.twitter.com/gEJpbnT9t8 — »

Go figure

Featured image In an attempt to salvage “Cromnibus,” President Obama sent his chief of staff to Capitol Hill to present House Democrats with the following argument: the budget deal under consideration today is better for liberals than what Democrats will be able to get next year, when Republicans control both chambers of Congress. From the Democrats’ point of view, the president’s message seems both indisputable and dispositive. Yet Democrats resoundingly rejected Obama’s »

Cromnibus Survives, 219-206 [Updated]

Featured image It took nearly 60 Democrats to get the job done, but John Boehner and Barack Obama combined to slide the continuing resolution/omnibus spending bill through Congress. Still no explanation of why it is better to fund the fiscal year now, rather than in a month or two when Republicans control both chambers. Many conservatives are upset about the bill because it doesn’t attempt to de-fund amnesty. That isn’t my main »

Cromnibus Nearly Fails on Procedural Vote [UPDATED]

Featured image It’s Keystone Kops in Washington, as John Boehner’s continuing resolution/omnibus spending bill nearly failed a procedural vote to bring it to the floor this morning. The tally was 214-212, and it took one Republican vote-switcher to avoid a colossal embarrassment for Speaker Boehner. The embarrassment is bad enough, as the vote on the rule is normally along party lines. All Democrats voted against the rule this morning, which I take »

Defeat the omnibus

Featured image So far as we can tell, just about everything appears to be wrong with the omnibus spending bill coming before Congress for passage this week. To the extent that we are able to do so, I would like to amplify the voice of the editors of National Review in their editorial “Defeat the omnibus.” They write: The federal government’s funding authorization expires tonight at midnight, and the Republican plan to »

Spending Bill Moves Toward Passage Tomorrow

Featured image One of the last significant acts of the lame duck Congress will be passage of a spending bill that funds the federal government to the tune of around $1.1 trillion on an annualized basis. The bill goes through next September for all government agencies except the Department of Homeland Security, which will only be funded until February 27. The contents of the bill, still largely unknown–it is 1,600 pages long–were »